On Monday night, Parquet Courts finally brought their unique guitar driven art rock to New Orleans. The ensemble has released four outstanding records in the last four years (including Content Nausea, one of my favorite records of last year) and this tour precedes the release of their new record Monastic Living. The evening began with a couple of tracks from the new release before traipsing through what was a definitive greatest hits set. The band takes a shared approach to the position of “front man,” which sees Savage, Brown and Yeaton all taking turns leading the vocal charge. While these differences are rendered somewhat flat on the records with the production harmonies bleeding one voice into the next, on stage each song takes on the personality of the singer and becomes a somewhat looser, more dynamic thing. What is striking about this performance is the adroit playfulness of all the members in concert with one another. The tight planning of album cuts can be rendered into a cheerful teasing of the audience. Pauses become exaggerated and endings meander through shifting signatures. It is really something to witness live. This is not a band that struggles with any aspect of performance. There is a supreme competence here that makes for the best kind of concert experience.

 

 

Girlpool Shines

On Tuesday, the LA based Girlpool came to Republic. The duo of Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad sounded electric. Their harmonies just work on a primal level. This is the kind of show that I love to see, when a truly young band is out on the road finding their voice. The set itself was relatively short, but again the duo have not accumulated a huge repertoire of songs yet. The brevity of the set did nothing to diminish the intensity of the performance. There is a bare emotion to Girlpool’s sound that I was worried might be toned down or absent live. This was certainly not the case. The pair are able to balance the joy and excitement of being on stage with the sheer impact of their performance. Watching them reminds me of the performances my sister and her friends used to stage with a boombox in our parents’ living room, but elevated to an art. There is a simple, playful elegance to the sound that just works. They remind us of how we used to see the world and bring us along to reimagine the experience.

 

 

To Do This Week

On Friday check out the indie new wave experimentation of Shopping at the Hi Ho Lounge. This should be an excellent show. The band’s new record Why Choose has a great vibe to it. Saturday you can catch Beat Connection at Gasa Gasa or Flow Tribe down at Mardi Gras World. Also on Saturday, the always irreverent Beaumonts will be at Siberia. On Sunday the excellent Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats will be at Tips. Monday, Steve Earle will be at Tips and Health will be at One Eyed Jacks. On Wednesday check out Daphne Lee Martin at Siberia, this is another one of those great early shows. Go for dinner and stay for the music.

 

To Listen This Week

New track from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart via Soundcloud

FIDLAR and BULLY cover the Magnetic Field via Youtube

Lana Del Rey covers Daniel Johnston via CoS